At Our Fine School, the kindergarteners study Japan, which means there is a Japanese Hot Lunch served in early February. Guess who's on the Japanese Hot Lunch committee for Mrs. B's class? Guess who desperately did not want to be on the Japanese Hot Lunch committee for Mrs. B's class, but who was last in line for the sign-up sheet?
I have nothing against Japanese cuisine, other than the fact I don't eat it. I'm not a seafood person in general, and raw seafood holds no appeal for me. Add to that the fact I cannot cook rice for more than four people at a time, and I think you'll agree that I'm not the best mom for the job.
But I'm stuck with it, so yesterday morning I trudged into school at 8:15 for the Japanese Hot Lunch Committee Meeting. I wasn't in any way, shape or form looking forward to it. For one thing, my fellow kindergarten moms are much too young and attractive to deal with first thing in the morning. I had Will when I was 38; clearly the other moms were child brides who bore their children shortly after graduating middle school. A number of them are consistently fashionably dressed, which this season means short skirts and high heeled boots. It is a fabulous look, and a slightly ridiculous one for the kindergarten hallways. Just sayin'.
Here's the good news: my fellow committee members all wore jeans, and two out of three had crows feet. None were a size 2 (a common malady among the younger moms at Our Fine School). Best of all, at the beginning of the meeting Mrs B said, "Y'all can cook if you want to, but if I were you, I'd just go to that Japanese restaurant over by the TJ Maxx. That's what my moms did last year, and the food was great."
Meeting over. Well, we did have to divvy up who would bring forks and napkins (moi) and who would place the take-out order (Wendy), and we agreed if we went over our $100 budget we would happily split the difference. But that was it. So as it turns out, I love being on the Japanese Hot Lunch Committee. Piece of cake.
After the meeting was over, I strolled over to see the lovely "I have a dream" posters the kids in Will's class had made for MLK's birthday. Oh, the sentiments expressed were lovely and dear: "I have a dream everyone gets enough to eat." "I have a dream no one would die." "I have a dream for peace."
I eagerly searched out Will's. It was all the way at the end of the row of posters, a little bit in the shadows. It read: "I have a dream everybody could use the same bathroom."
I was a bit taken aback. What could that possibly mean? Will doesn't even like using the bathroom, and I'm sure if he could have his own, private porta-potty to haul around with him, he would. So why does all the sudden he want to use the bathroom with everybody else?
Fortunately, a woman who was also reading the posters noticed my obvious distress. "You know what? I bet Mrs. B told them about how blacks and whites used to have separate bathroom facilities. I bet that's what he's writing about."
Thank goodness she cleared that up for me, or I would have spent all day wondering what the heck Will was talking about and why my children are so weird. Still, I wish Will had come up with something a little more profound (and a little less dated, quite frankly--his dream is about forty years behind the times). But I guess you go with your gut when it comes to what you dare to dream.
Jack would leave his rear end at home everyday if it weren't tied onto the rest of him. Good Lord, that child has no sense--and no long term memory. He has yet to remember one "come to school dressed like an insane person" day, and the fourth grade calendar is replete with them. Today it was "Come to School Dressed in Your Jammies Day!" It completely slipped Jack's mind until we picked up A, who walked out of his house in pjs and a robe.
Jack got that stricken look he gets when he realizes he's forgotten yet another important landmark occasion. He paled. His mouth trembled a little. "Mom, could you bring my baseball pajamas to school? And a small stuffed animal?"
I said I would. I didn't want Jack to miss out on any fourth grade zaniness. I mean, I'm not a monster. Later, thinking about it, I realized if Jack had forgotten his homework, I wouldn't have brought it in. I would have made him take the consequences for forgetting. I would have taught him an Important Life Lesson.
But jammies? How can you deny a boy who wants to wear his jams to school like all the other kids? You can't. You just can't.